Reconceptualizing Motherhood: A Feminist Reading of Shashi Deshpande’s Small Remedies
Motherhood or maternal role is a crucial issue in feminist thinking. Feminists are of the opinion that although child bearing is a biological act in women, it is often idealized and romanticized in such a way that it effaces the individuality and subjectivity of a woman. Feminists argue against such culturally constructed images of motherhood that project mothers as self-effacing, selfsacrificing, beneficent, pure and sacred. The present paper reads Shashi Deshpande’s novel Small Remedies as a critique of this institutionalized motherhood. The novel presents the experiences of a number of women characters of different age and of different social background, as mothers. The paper tries to examine how far the author negotiates and challenges the traditional concepts of motherhood and how the text offers alternative images of the same.